Amazing food! Every time I have gone the food has been great. Even my Non-veg family love it too :)
Amazing food! Every time I have gone the food has been great. Even my Non-veg family love it too :)
Fresh is the ubiquitous vegetarian chain in Toronto. It is on par with McDonald's for popularity, number of vegans and vegetarians who actually dine there and food quality.
That's not a compliment.
There are now 4 Fresh locations in Toronto but this one and the one on Spadina are likely the busiest due to the proximity to U of T and the downtown lunch crowd. Try not to go during peak hours around lunch or dinner unless you want to wait.
The food is very low quality. They serve store bought faux meats instead of making their own. Same goes for the cupcakes and other desserts. They're made by Sweets from the Earth and generally aren't very fresh like the name of the place would have you believe.
All the food is non-organic. I suggest you avoid the bowls at the very least. They don't seem to have any theme or inspiration to them and taste more like a bunch of random ingredients and a sauce placed on either rice or soba noodles. Has anyone who manages this place ever tasted them? It's not cohesive. I've eaten similar bowls at veggie restaurants from Portland to Tokyo and can honestly say Fresh's are some of the worst. (Aux Vivres in Montreal makes one of the best Buddha Bowls ever, if you happen to be there.)
Dieting young women and people who've been working out at the JCC across the street come here to eat. You're crammed in like sardines if you get stuck along the banquet wall. These people must feel good about the food at Fresh because it's probably the only vegan or vegetarian thing they'll eat all week. I think when you go completely vegan, you're taste buds grow and develop. You don't just settle for a pile of diced produce on plain brown rice with flavourless sauce and weird things like tomatoes in it.
The place is always packed. Service is generally okay but there's high staff turnover due to the volume they deal with. In the kitchen things are thrown together assembly line style and it's clear in the food. They're constantly looking to hire line cooks on craigslist because it's probably gruelling and underpaid back there too.
If you're a vegan or a true vegetarian, avoid at all costs. For tastier bowls in Toronto and much less fuss, go to an Urban Herbivore location, get the grain bowl with the lemon tahini or carrot sesame dressing.
Other things you should know about Fresh:
- the owner wears a fur trimmed Canada Goose jacket made from the corpses of coyotes and ducks and geese
- worst vegan pancakes in the city. Sadly very few options for vegan pancakes in Toronto, so recommending you go to Starving Artist for vegan waffles instead.
- very overpriced sweet potato fries
- the faux meats are bottom of the barrel and GMO soy Yves brand products. They taste terrible too.
Amazing vegan selection, worth the money, big portions. Worth a visit. Onion rings are brilliant.
We've been going to Fresh for years, even back when it was known as Juice for Life. I've noticed a fall off in quality, especially in their hummus plate (no more red lebanese olive oil). The drinks are still great, and you can get some decent treats, but most of the food is fried, and not very healthy and sometimes not at all appetizing - there are much better restaurants in the area for vegans, but if you like fried stuff this is your place.
I went to Fresh with my colleague who doesn't eat dairy or gluten and we had so many choices, including lots of vegan cakes for dessert!
We shared these amazing quinoa crusted onion rings and sweet potato fries for appetiser. Both portions were huge!
For main I had a chipotle bacon burger which was fabulous. The restaurant is vegan but they do have vegetarian cheddar or goats cheese you can choose to add on top which does have dairy. I chose cheddar with my burger and it was also great.
My colleague had a soba noodle bowl with lots of veggies and tofu
For dessert I had the amazing carrot cake. It was so moist and the slice was big which was greatly appreciated! My colleague had a vanilla cupcake and she said it was also good.
Fresh had so many options anyone could find something they liked. It was also reasonably priced and right on Bloor Street which is the place to be in Toronto (or at least that's my understanding!)
This place seems popular with U. of Toronto students; it was packed each time I went there. I found the food to be quite good and tasty, and rather healthy, with lot of choices. The prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is relaxed. At lunch it gets cramped and somewhat noisy, but the food gets to you rather quickly. In all, an enjoyable place to go--I would definitely return.
I used to go there all the time when I lived in Toronto. The food was always great, many vegan options, bowls, pizza, tons of veggies. The place had a large student and hippy population. The service is court and by no means amazing but I went back for the food.
I came here on my way out of town and needed something to go in a hurry. The staff were friendly and I opted for one of their burgers. I was hungry, and although it didn't look that special in a to-go box, it was one of the best veggie burgers I've ever had. The bread was awesome, and the burger texture was too. It came with a small kale salad (very small), and I was quite satisfied.
This was my second and definitely last visit to Fresh. When I first tried this place about a year ago, I was not impressed. On that occasion, I experienced lousy service and overpriced mediocre food, not to mention the incredibly cramped tables and noisy environment. I had ordered the "magic tofu" wrap, which was far from being magical. It was basically a mushy medley of nondescript veggies combined with overcooked tofu "steaks".
After my most recent visit, I realize that nothing has changed. Although the restaurant was half empty when I arrived, and was told that "your server will be with you soon", it was at least 10 to 15 minutes before anyone even showed up at my table. Several employees seemed to be standing around and chatting with each other, or texting on their smartphones, rather than attending to customers.
When the server finally arrived, I ordered the miso burger, which comes with a "side of marinated kale slaw".
When the order finally arrived I was quite disappointed. The burger was overdone, bordering on what one would consider burnt. It had the consistency of wood chips and sawdust and was not very tasty. The "side dish" of "kale slaw" was tiny and was nothing special as far as taste. Even though the restaurant was far from full, it was still quite noisy.
I cannot understand why Fresh appears to be so wildly popular, in the light of the poor service, mediocre food and crummy ambience. I guess it is just another example of an over-hyped trendy yuppie hangout. I will not be back.
we went to eat here expecting a quick light meal and we got HUGE portions! some of the best food we've had out! we got the quinoa onion rings with the avocado chipotle sauce. yum. we also got the grilled veg burrito which was good and had many layers of flavor. the best thing by far was the powerhouse bowl. we forced ourselves to finish it after being full because it was SO GOOD. next time i will probably get the smaller bowl. i didn't realize how huge the portions were!
Huge selection of healthy and tasty food.
My parents, husband and I went to Fresh Monday night. I was wanting to go for a while, and I was so disappointed. I would go back only if I were in the area. I would not go out of my way.
The menu was wide with a variety of burgers, bowls, and wraps. But it was all really greasy and made me feel sick. It is vegetarian/vegan food that has healthy drinks, but it seems like "bar food" made vegetarian. I guess I was expecting the health factor to be greater.
The crowd is very university centred. We waited a half hour for a table. They said it is busy like that every night after 7. The servers were friendly and accommodating and even brought my dad a fresh orange juice on the house as he is diabetic and his sugar was slipping during he wait.
If you don't mind greasy, the BBQ burger was tasty and my parents liked the mushroom onion burger. The sweet potato fries were soggy and not so tasty. My hubby had the Beach Bowl. He said it was ok, but too oily. The soups were delish and the E3live shot was a little icky. You be the judge.
I love the food here, the burger is my favorite. I make a point to eat here everytime I'm in the area.
The tables are a little close for comfort but that would be my only complaint.
They have a large selection of vegan desserts from Sweets From The Earth.
Vegan heaven :)
i used to live really close to this place. i always enjoyed eating there. the food is good, the service was good when i went. it was usually packed and therefore loud, but if it's packed you know people are liking it. :)
If you are after healthy vegan/vegetarian fare in a funky and friendly setting then this is the place for you! We dined at the Fresh restaurants four times during a visit to Toronto and the food, service and ambience was fabulous every time. If you can't eat all that is on your plate the staff will happily package it up for take out. I highly recommend leaving room for the Carrot Cake!
Fresh is a staple of the vegetarian/vegan dining scene in Toronto. Always great food at a reasonable price. I have yet to try something that I didn't absolutely love. Fresh is a great place to take your meat eating friends...Fresh has certainly helped me convert a few meat eaters. Also, they have a great cookbook that features all of the recipes from the restaurant; worth checking out.
I've been here for lunch with my boyfriend and there was a lot of people. The menu is wide, and you can customize your own meal, and your own smoothie. I did chose ingredients for my own wrap, so i can't really review on their ability to make a great meal. I loved what i had, since i knew what i was getting ; there was no surprise. The only thing i was surprised about is that all the ingredients came on 2 plates, with the wrap on the side. I told the guy i wanted to have a wrap with those inside so i thought they would make it into a nice presentation. Anyway that is far from a big deal, i did not really care about making it myself. My boyfriend had a dahl soup with corn bread and a salad and he liked it. The smoothie was really good. The service was a bit slow, but friendly and fun. Maybe i would have wrote a more constructive review if i had chosen one of their home made plate and if i would have ate dessert. Since i didnt, all i can say is that i'll go back if i can to try more food.
My hubby and I went for lunch. Got there at about 11:27 a.m., but people listen up: they will not open the doors until around 11:32 even if they see you are outside freezing in the snow.
It was loud. Don't go there expecting to have a conversation. Crowded, tables too close together, and servers look stressed out, but do a great job.
Food was... ok. Bland. We ordered different stuff, and neither of us were impressed.
We won't be back.
First thing wrong with this place: Wraps are not vegan and they don't tell you unless you indicate that you are vegan. It has been this way for some time now, but they are "looking for an alternative"
Second thing wrong: They treat their employees like crap, not a good thing for a restaurant like this one. Most people probably don't care, but if you think it's important to give your business to companies that treat their workers with respect and dignity, then choose another place for tonight's dinner. I've had friends that worked there who've been fired without a reason, shifts cut while they hired more people, and who have been transferred to another location without notice or consideration that they had just moved to avoid having to take transit. The operation is poorly managed.
On the positive side, the food tastes really good. Too bad...
We liked it a lot. Kid friendly. Good eats. Amazing vegan menu.
To have a conversation with the people you're dining with when this place gets crowded - which is often - you have to almost yell. The tables are tightly packed together, too. They're making a KILLING at this Fresh location.
Other reviews have got their decent - but overpriced - menu pretty right, so I won't duplicate it.
An anecdote: some ignorant so-and-so brought a full fur coat into the place. A young woman got up, walked over to her table and mentioned - in a calm, casual voice - that it was a vegetarian restaurant and fur coats were upsetting to the diners for a number of reasons. This fur coat woman complained and the young lady was asked to leave. No joke. The owners are not even vegetarian: they just know a cash cow when they see one (see above).
My partner & I came here for lunch on a recent trip to Toronto and were both very impressed. It's pretty funky, nice decor and ambience - quite far removed from the usual bo-ho veggie places we are used to. I had a tofu wrap that was delicious, filling, and made me feel like I was eating something nice & healthy. My partner had a veggie burger with sweet potato fries, which was so nice, and quite different from the standard pre-packed veggie burgers you get in other places. The staff were nice and pleasant, and the price was good. We liked it so much, a few days later we went for dinner at 'Fresh on Spadina'!
My husband and I went there for brunch on a Saturday while visiting Toronto. We loved it. I ordered the pancakes which were wonderful, and fries and fried tofu. The fresh squeezed juice combinations are also good. My husband who is not a vegetarian liked his food as well which was a big plus.
This place is insanely popular. While not one of my personal fav's, I end up going with non vegetarians fairly often-for some reason they can't get enough. The drinks/shoothies are great-but expensive. I find the wraps and burgers really dry. I can't in good conscience spend ten bucks on a rice bowl so i can't comment on them.
I like the dosa's and the coconut battered tempeh. All the sauces are delicious. The best thing about Fresh in my opinion is the soup. Every time i forget (or am too lazy) to pack my lunch i head over to Fresh (two subway stops from work) and grab a large soup for five dollars. I have never had a bad or even okay soup there. Every soup I've tried is great, even the one's that didn't sound very appetizing initially.
Overall, I find it overpriced but some items are of good value (soup and appetizers) and its a great spot for mixed veg/non veg diners.
I ordered the soup of the day (a vegan leek soup) with cornbread, along with the baby energy bowl. The baby bowl on its own would have been a full meal for me! My bro would have needed the regular sized bowl, though. The food was incredibly tasty and had lots of fresh veggies.
I also ordered a smoothie. I forget the name, but it included blueberry, banana, and something else. It was very good.
The server was really nice and very helpful.
It was pricier than most restaurants I go to, but worth it. (Smoothie, baby energy bowl, soup of the day, and cornbread including taxes and tip came to about $28.)
their carrot cake is amazing! i took a piece home and shared it with my boyfriend and it had the best icing ever. the food there is so good and fresh it was just incredible. their dressings are good too and the tofu is spectacular, some of the best id ever had. the sweet potato fries are pricy too but amazing. when you go be ready to shell out the cash.
Every trip to Toronto isnt complete without a meal at one of the Freshes. Bloor is fav. Since I have bought the cookbooks and made some of the dishes. I can appreciate how much work goes into making such great food. Keep it up.
Good service considering how crowed it was, great food, great desserts, wonderful smoothies. Definitely worth a visit. The menu was almost overwhelming in its variety! I will absolutely be back when I return to Toronto.
There's a reason why it has won so many "Best of..." awards. Can't say enough good things about this place. However, it does need acoustic pads. It's too loud.
I don't get why everyone is so crazy about fresh, sure it's good but not AMAZING. The wraps and rice bowls are pretty good, but also relatively standard fare that I eat at home pretty much everyday. I guess it's a fairly reliable standby but when I want a really tasty or innovative meal I'd generally head elsewhere.
was so impressed he felt a GARDEN was growing inside him!
My husband & I are in Toronto for business, with no car. We decided to take a bus & the subway to eat some lunch. This was our first time with taking a subway & it was really cold outside for us, to our surprise Fresh on Bloor is right around the corner from the subway station. From getting off to sitting in the restaurant it took about 1 1/2 minutes! That was the first pleasant surprise. The next was getting peppermint hot chocolate with soymilk, YUM! For lunch we got the Holiday Wrap and the Black Bean Wrap. They hit the spot! The french fries were good, but greasy! I was glad I had got an extra napkin, I was able to blot some of the oil from my fries (the only disappointment). We decided to order dinner and take it back to the hotel with us, we got the Power House Bowl with soba noodles and the Green Goddess Bowl with brown basmati rice. They look and smell great, can't wait to try them tonight. The atmosphere was fun and inviting, a little noisy, but that added to the charm of the place. We were there around 3pm and if that was their downtime, all other restaurants should be envious. There was never a point where there was less than 10 to 15 people there (they can probably only seat about 50 people, if that). The staff was friendly, our order came quickly (although the fries which we ordered after our wraps took a little longer than we thought they should), no complaints. The prices are on the high side, but worth it. It was the hightlight of our day. They are a vegetarian restaurant, but most of their menu items are vegan & the rest are easy to de-cheese. The portion sizes are just right.
Amazing flavour to every dish. A must-try!! Nice, clean, casual place. Cool wallpaper. Lots of variety. Tons of smoothies, coffees, fruit juices, power shakes, etc. Great desserts. Healthy choices. Amazing prices. Even non-vegetarians love Fresh. Best place ever!!
My hubby and I were really happy with the dosas and the buddha bowl. The service was great, the food was really tasty, no wait to eat and cookies to go. What more could you want?
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Last updated: 2014/03/07
Added by: Guest